How to Merchandise Your Jewelry on the Internet
by Judy Ellis
Using the Internet to engage and conduct business with your customers is an effective way to merchandise your jewelry. However, it's not quite as easy as setting up a website, catalog and e-commerce. You will need to invite customers to come to your site, find what they like, and be motivated enough to open an account and purchase. So, this article is about the whole process so that selling online will be a good experience for you and for your customer. This article is also for the small independent jewelry-maker.
First you will need to create your online store. It is important to select a store package that is easy to deploy but rich in features so that you can measure customer behavior and adapt. It is also important to have one that you can modify yourself so that you don't have to hire a software technician to create your online catalog of jewelry. You will also want to have a storefront that allows you to upload various pictures of your jewelry. Finally, you will want to automate everything from pricing to checkout.
After your store is built you will need to invite the customers to come in and peruse. This is where marketing and advertising comes in. You will need to develop an advertising campaign strategy by determining what "hook" you can use to bring in customers. Will they be enticed to click to your store if you offer something free? If you can't afford anything free without a purchase, come up with something that you can give away free with a purchase and add it to the cost of your sale. You could also offer free shipping on any jewelry purchase. Maybe you could offer a velvet case or a paste for cleaning silver jewelry. Whatever you decide, it needs to add value to a purchase. And you need to come up with new ideas all the time to test against each other, looking for the best set to use over and over again.
Next you will need to decide where to promote your offer. On the Internet there are many places to advertise but it best if you focus entirely on reaching your target market and in this case jewelry it would be females, 21 -55 that have disposable income. You can also target specific locations if you like and even specific behavior such as those that purchase clothing and accessories online.
Now that you have figured out what to offer and to whom, you need to know where. One of the most effective ways is through purchasing of keywords in search engines and also in social networking sites, pinpointing your audience using their ad campaign software. Don't waste clicks (that you'll have to pay for) by broadcasting to everyone. Nail your ad and target so that most visitors arriving at your store are looking for what you offer. It's better to get fewer visitors who are looking to buy jewelry than more customers that click away immediately.
Finally, when people arrive at your store you will want to make sure their experience is positive by creating a friendly catalog that gives your visitor the sense that you know what you are doing, you are reputable, and that they can trust that you will ship what they buy from you. This happens by including a privacy policy on your site, by telling your visitors that you use secure servers for all transactions, and that you have a return policy that accommodates returns.
As you can see, setting up a store, targeting your customers, and selling them your jewelry is a process that has many steps. However, once you get all of the above done the fun really starts because then you can watch your customer behavior and continue to tweak your store until it s optimally selling your jewelry for you.

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The Definitive Guide to Selling Handcrafted Jewelry
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